Andrea Ford of Re:Style Studio Toronto PART 3: DOUBLE PIPING /WELTING

WELTED CORD (“DOUBLE PIPING”) TUTORIAL

Andrea Ford, founder of RE:Style Studio RESTYLESTUDIOTORONTO.COM

@restylestudioTO

Welted cord is a topical trim used in upholstery applications to cover staple lines, most commonly around decorative wooden frames. Many tutorials exist using 2 separate pieces of piping cord or using multiple stitches to sew fabric onto your cord. However, we don’t have time to waste in an upholstery studio, so we’ve use a method for a single pass on the sewing machine…….our Janome 1600P!

Welted cord, itself, is an upholstery supply and comes lashed together on the underside, holding 2 pieces of “piping” cord together. There is some movement between the cord pieces for flexibility to move around curves.

Cut 2-3” wide fabric pieces on the bias – across the grain at a 45 degree angle. You’ll likely need several pieces sewn together to trim your entire chair.

Randomly mix piece lengths together to avoid decreasing seams in your cord. Sew fabric strip ends together, right sides together, and trim seam back to a minimal 1⁄4”. Finger press seams apart. No need to worry about common suggestions about sewing strips together at right angles – the fabric will stretch as you sew it so the seam will lay flat without all the trigonometry.

Place fabric on top of welted cording, right side facing up, and wrap right side of fabric to the underside of the cording (see pic 4). Holding the fabric in place, wrap the left side of the fabric over and to the underside. You will have a tail of fabric hanging on the right side.

Start with the first 4” of cord and place under the (regular, not zipper or piping foot) presser foot of your sewing machine. Stitching slowly, stitch down the center of the cording. Stop every few inches to tighten your grip and continue wrapping the fabric over the cord.

When you’ve finished stitching, trim the fabric tail from the back, as closely as possible to the stitching. The glue will reinforce the seam, so don’t worry about a too-close seam fraying. And if by chance your stitch didn’t catch the fabric wrapped over the bottom, leaving a little opening on the back, you can always touch up those spots with hot glue before attaching.

Traditionally welted cord was made with chunky fabrics like velvet and tapestries. The cord would be stapled onto furniture and the pile of the velvet or the density of the weave of a tapestry would hide *some* of the staples. However, today we use so many different types of fabrics that stapling is not always possible.

With patience and rested hands, you can begin to trim your piece as closely as possible to the staples. Use embroidery scissors or even manicure scissors to get all the threads and fabric ends out of the way. Use a hot glue gun to run a bead of glue 4” at a time and place your sewn welted cord onto your chair. Heat up a glue gun with clear glue sticks. Starting at an inconspicuous spot like the back of a leg or back of a seat, add glue to the chair frame no more than 4” at a time. Be gentle with the glue. If any fabric is hanging from the chair, brush up with the trim and trap it under the welted cord. You may need to add a little extra glue.

When you’re finished adding the trim to your chair end the cord by cutting some of the cord out of the fabric cover, wrap the fabric over the end, and butt up against the starting point. This cord is too bulky to overlap.

Are you a fan of this modern type of trim on upholstered furniture?

 

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Andrea Ford of Re:Style Studio Toronto PIPING PART 2

TO PIPE OR NOT TO PIPE

Andrea Ford, founder of RE:Style Studio RESTYLESTUDIOTORONTO.COM

@restylestudioTO

I’m pretty opinionated when it comes to piping details on furniture and decor sewing. From defining visual lines, creating high contrast outlines, learning to sew or upholster properly with piping and the long-term durability of piped edges, there are a lot of cautionary tales to be told.

Piping creates an exaggerated physical outline on furniture. It tailors otherwise unstructured looks and can add interest without gaudiness. On an overstuffed sofa, piping can be used to create definition and balance a marshmallow effect with structure.

However, by definition, it causes your eye to trace along all the edges and calls attention to the precision of points and seams. If your seat cushion cover shifts from normal use, causing the band around your cushion to push forward, you notice it immediately. Piping looks amazing in a showroom or on display, but in real life it takes a lot of maintenance to sit in place properly. Think of that skirt that never sits on your waist as you move, or the lampshade that is proverbially tipped.

Regardless of whether piping that is made from a high contrast or self-fabric, our eyes are trained to follow the lines of a seam. When using printed or patterned fabric, piping cut along the bias almost never aligns with the repeat on faces, creating a new visual distraction.

As a teacher, I encourage students to build up to piped seams while packing patience and precision. Like a highlighter on text, piping highlights every seam and corner. If your sewing stitch is wavy, the piping puckers or is uneven in diameter. If your fabric puckers in a seam, the piped edge is obscured. If a student has limited hand dexterity, the multiple layers of fabric can be cumbersome. In upholstery, the tools and techniques to create piped lines take meticulous handiness.

Making furniture and upholstering, I study furniture wear patterns, ergonomics and how we interact with our furniture. I’ve been asked countless times to “fix” a sofa or chair with worn piping. The remaining fabric can seem otherwise unharmed, but the edges of seats and outer seams are constantly abraded and subjected to pressure.

Contrast piping will show dirt first, especially rub off from dark denim from backs of legs. Piping on arm seams will pick up oils from our skin and are perfect scratching points for pets. The average piped front seam of a seat cushion cover will wear 10x faster than the surface fabric of the cover. In custom furniture and sewing, piping will also cost more in time, labour and yardage requirement.

It was once believed that piped seams in upholstery or decor sewing provided an anchor or reinforcing effect for the seam. However, with today’s technology in sewing machines, overlock stitches and high wear fabrics, it is no longer the case. Properly double stitched seams, even with a top stitch detail, give proper support for long term wear.

With the Janome 1600P, a consistent stitch length and adjustable pressure from the presser foot, piping is easier to sew both for piping prep. as well as the finished seam.

The solid construction of the machine also prevents the waggle dance of the zipper foot that is so common with portable sewing machines.

For stretchy fabrics I avoid cutting bias strips – the fabric will only stretch and grow as you sew the cord into the fabric sheath. However, my love affair with the Janome 1600P has a chapter on how little dispersion happens between 2 layers of fabric on this machine – which is such a key frustration when sewing seat cushion covers and piped seams in bulky fabric.

The next time you plan a sewing or upholstery project, consider the application of piping and how long you want it to look as good as new. There are factors to consider: maintenance required to look tidy, traffic and wearability and if you’re the maker, your own skill level.

Do you have a love affair with piping on furniture and in upholstery?

Do you love the high contrast effect or prefer to have your piping covered in self fabric?

Andrea presents another Guest blog post next Thursday Part 3 PIPING

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JANOME FEET AND SEW4HOME

 

You may already have seen this if you took our advice and subscribed to this most useful website: www.sew4home.com. This was published on Wed 3rd May and is a great article about how to use a bunch of our Janome feet when you wish to sew in a straight line. Not necessarily with a straight stitch mind you…….it might be a decorative stitch that you would like keep straight with!  Check it out.  Totally enjoyed reading this and thought we’d share this with you in case you missed it or maybe did not know about this great website.

DO YOU OWN ANY OF THESE FEET?

THE JANOME SLIDING GUIDE FOOT – AVAILABLE FOR 7MM AND 9MM JANOME MACHINE MODELS. Pic courtesy of Sew4home

THE JANOME BORDER GUIDE FOOT – also available for both 7mm and 9mm machine models. Pic courtesy of Sew4Home

THE JANOME DITCH QUILTING FOOT – well this is one of them and happens to be the clip on version. We have several other ones to offer as well. 7mm, 9mm, Acufeed; Acufeed Flex, etc

MORE IMPORTANTLY, DO YOU USE THEM?! 

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Andrea Ford of Re:Style Studio Toronto: PIPING PART 1

PIPING IN UPHOLSTERY 

Andrea Ford, founder of RE:Style Studio RESTYLESTUDIOTORONTO.COM 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piping is one of the key sewing skills used in upholstery, and knowing how to make piping properly – and how to use it diligently requires knowing the difference between common terms and applications.

Let’s start with a glossary of terms:

 

 

 

Piping: Covered cord sewn into a seam. In upholstery we use this a lot in cushion covers and boxy-style sewn arm seams. This beast of a chair was tricked out within an inch of its life with all the kinds of piping!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welted cord: An upholstery application of topical trim, seemingly a “double piping” on which self-fabric is sewn to an inner cord which is lashed together and the seam is sewn into the welt between cords. This is glued or stapled to the final detail of an upholstered chair with wooden trim to cover fabric layer staples. These chairs feature contrast welted cord made from a tight-weave canvas. Look for my one-stitch welted tutorial in coming posts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lip cord: Fabric covered cord stapled to the bottom edge of a chair, ottoman, sofa, etc. This is not needed to be sewn prior to stapling in place. In this ottoman you’ll see a sewn piped edge at the top, along with lip cord stapled to the bottom edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIPS:

  1. For your own sanity, make sure you stitch an anchor at the start of your piping sleeve – trapping the cord into the seam and attaching it to the fabric – to avoid the annoying pull-through as you work with the unwieldy covered cord.
  2. Give yourself a tiny margin (1/8”) between your stitch line and the cord, rather than trying to choke up on the cord like store bought piping. That way your stitch will be buried in your final seam and never peak out. There’s nothing worse than hooking your seam ripper into the fabric covering your piping and creating a hole.
  3. For microfibres and linen sewn into box cushions or rectilinear shapes, cut your fabric strips along the warp or weft and forget about bias strips. Bias strips are key for curvy work and to give a little extra ease in tightly woven fabrics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JANOME 1600P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have adventures in piping with your home decor projects?

Do you love working with it or avoid it in some instances?

Part 2 coming up next Thursday.

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SASKATCHEWAN STITCHES CONFERENCE & HAUS OF STITCHES

IT IS ALMOST THAT TIME AGAIN…………….YAY!!! Time to meet friends in a quiet, rural location in Saskatchewan (St Peter’s Abbey in the tiny hamlet of Muenster, SK) and sew, quilt, knit or whatever technique floats your boat….10 whole days of sheer bliss for those who just love to do this sort of thing. I have said it before, and I will say it again, it would have to be a big drama that stops me from attending this Conference each year! It is so rewarding to teach hands on workshops in an unhurried and peaceful setting and get the opportunity to “dig in” and show people just what our wonderful Janome and Elna sewing and embroidery machines and sergers have to offer. Janome Canada is a sponsor of this Conference.

This year I will be teaching 4 classes ( check out the website). Not sure if there are any spots left in my classes but you are more than welcome to call the store to check. In addition to the bumper line up of teachers from far & wide, are the shared meals (that we do NOT have to think about or cook!) and the fun evening activities – including a 15th anniversary Gala and Fashion Show. This will be F U N.

Wendy (on the right), owner of Haus of Stitches and the driving force behind the success of the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference, enjoying a fun creative moment with Diana Best of Moose Jaw. There are many of these moments at Conference ……..trust me on that one!

And there is also a 15th Anniversary Fabric challenge. It was a close call but I (Liz) did manage to get an entry in and these are all currently on display at the Museum in Humboldt. It will be SO inspiring to see what everyone did with the solid cream/beige fabric that was the challenge fabric this time. Only rule was you had to use this fabric and include a maple leaf (for Canada 150) somewhere on the project (even inside was OK). Mine is not hidden……it is quite a patriotic offering as I really am hugely proud and privileged to call myself a Canadian. Wish I could be in Ottawa in July for the Festivities but sadly that will not be. Next best was to sew an entry for this Fabric Challenge! Can’t wait to see the entries. I will take pics and share later at the end of May.

Yes, we can hardly believe it but Wendy (Owner of Haus of Stitches) has been putting on this incredible Conference for 15 years this year. She deserves a huge round of applause as she, her store, her staff and her Conference are very unique and pretty special.  I, for one, will be there with bells on!!! Hope to see you there too.

This star was cut using the Artistic Edge 15 Digital cutter AND applique stitches were digitized with the Simple Cut software which is included with the cutter. The applique was then stitched in the Janome or Elna embroidery machine – so simple, so quick, so much fun!

 

 

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PUTTING YOUR JANOME EMBROIDERY MACHINE TO WORK: QUILTING-IN-THE-HOOP

Check out the blog post on 21 April  where we mentioned the Big Canadian Quilt Bee. Let us show you how we put our Janome MC15000 Horizon to work to quilt one of these charity quilts destined for Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada.

Please note that we are able to do a similar quilting-in-the-hoop or ACUFIL QUILTING technique on the following other Janome embroidery machine models: Janome MC11000; MC12000 and MC500E.  (pictured above). You may also remember a recent post from Guest Blogger and Artisan Sherri over at Thread Riding Hood where she showed us step-by-step how to achieve this process using our Janome Skyline S9 sewing and embroidery machine.  SO……lots of options with our various Janome embroidery machines. Please visit your local Janome Dealer today to find out more about how a Janome embroidery machine opens up incredible new techniques for QUILTING!! Ask your dealer specifically to show you Acufil quilting which comes standard on the Janome MC15000 and is available as an optional accessory KIT (quilting hoop an software) for the Janome MC12000 (only while stocks last) and MC500E (also MC450E and MC400E).

You are also most welcome to do a search in the search box (right hand side of the screen) for many, many posts on this topic: Acufil quilting. Just type Acufil quilting in the search box, make a cup of coffee and read up!

 

Step 1 of the quilting (after the quilt top & backing had been sandwiched with batting) was to ditch stitch between all the blocks.  We used the Janome acufeed flex foot SD (with ditch quilting guide) which feeds the fabric layers through just wonderfully – due to our box feed and 7 point feed dog system! There are 12 slab blocks in this quilt so I had 2 vertical rows and 3 horizontal rows of stitching. This anchors everything. We chose a serpentine stitch (Quilt menu on the Janome MC9400 stitch # 20 but this stitch is available on quite a number of our machines. We used a variegated cotton thread which worked well on this multi-colour scrap quilt. 

Next was to choose the quilting design. We selected 2 designs which may be found in the Quilting category on the Janome MC15000. Of course, other quilting designs could just as easily have been used.
We positioned 2 designs on the edit screen of the machine and make a few edits like copying to diagonal corners, resizing , positioning in relation to the centre lines of the hoop. Then we used the great MONOCHROME function to remove all the colour stops and have the design stitch in 1 continuous hooping from start to finish. This is why thew design look pale in the picture above as it kind of greys the colours to all 1 colour. There were 6 different designs combined in this hooping so we did not want to have to “babysit” each section. Each stitch out was 6 minutes so 12 x6=72 minutes + a little time for the re-hoopings so this really did not take long at all. AND we were able to get on with other work while the JANOME MC15000 DID THE QUILTING FOR US!!!!!

There it is….busy working for us ……Note that we hang the quilt over a chair in front of the machine to prevent drag of fabric against the hoop.

We did not remove the hoop from the machine even once during the process of quilting the 12 blocks. All we did was move the hoop forward using the icon on the Ready to sew screen as pointed out in the pic above. We recommend using the extension table which comes standard with the MC15000 for ALL embroidery but especially for this Acufil quilting as it does support the hoop and allow for easy re-clamping of the magnets once each hooping is repositioned and clamped with the hard template and magnets. 

Close up of the action!

And a pic showing the hard template and magnets in place – Obviously we removed the template before sending the hoop back to stitching position and pressing stop/start to quilt . Then we could get on with another task – Now this is what we call labour saving!!

Quilting completed …….sending love and hearts to sick kids their families at Ronald McDonald Houses in Canada 

QUILTING IS DONE!! All we need to do is bind it and we will 100 definitely use the Janome Quilt Binder to do this. We estimate it will take less than 25 minutes to bind the entire quilt.

Have you got involved with making slab blocks and quilt tops for The BIG CANADIAN QUILT BEE? Are you planing to come to Quilt Canada in June and join in the fun and action as hundreds of people sew blocks, quilt sandwiches and bind quilts???? Janome is a proud sponsor of Quilt Canada and the Big Quilt Bee. We sure hope you are sewing up a storm?? ……such fun and such a worthy cause……..AND a great way to “pull together” and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday!

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SPRING CREATIV FESTIVAL FUN

So our Janome Canada booth at Creativ Festival in Mississauga, Ontario (Toronto) got a great new look last weekend! Our Central Canada Sales Rep, Amna, designed the booth decorations and we got lots of ooh’s & aah’s. It was a different backdrop to that boring show drape and our Canada 150 inspired quilt made by Tamara Kate was gracing centre position. On the table you will see Tamara Kate’s pillow. This is a smaller version of the wall quilt and instructions for how to make this will be available as a free download from our website next month. Subscribe to our janomelife blog and when these instructions are posted, you will be informed.

You will also notice the lovely Blue Fig Tamara Kate sewing luggage to the right of the table and below in another pic: roller tote, carry bag, notions bag and thread caddy (not shown). We already  did a post about these earlier – check it out if you missed or don’t remember that post. 

Tamara has done some wonderful creative things with us before: here and here and here.

We just love the little embroidered bicycle on these Blue Fig bags & totes – designed by Tamara Kate and digitized by Celine Ross, our Janome Educator in Montreal. Actually Tamara hails from Montreal as well.

So back to the Spring Creativ Festival last weekend…….it was a busy and fun show for us. So many of you stopped by the booth. It was lovely to spend time talking to you about our wonderful Janome machines and addressing your questions.  And there sure was lots of interest in our Limited Edition Canada 150 machine with maple leaf logo’s – sitting on the table under the wall quilt and next to the pillow and featured on this recent post. 

And we will be back in the very exact same spot next month……YES….. are you planning to attend Quilt Canada 2017 in Hall 1 at International Centre, 9600 Airport Road, Mississauga? Janome (one of the major sposnors of Quilt Canada) will be there again with lots to share & show on our Janome booth.

See you there.

 

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Introducing another Guest blogger and Janome Artisan: Andrea Ford

 

 

 

 

 

We are pleased to introduce Andrea Ford who is the founder of RE:Style Studio Toronto.

Andrea says:   NICE TO MEET YOU, FELLOW MAKERS

Growing up in St.John’s, Newfoundland, I was always crafting, scouring my older sister’s magazines and redecorating my bedroom with the Sears catalogue. My Saturdays were spent in Fabricville planning my next sewing project and my rocking Saturday nights spent making psychedelic lycra leggings on my mother’s moody Golden Touch machine. I took evening sewing classes in middle school with middle aged women, making tailored shirts and finely pleated pants while my friends were at soccer or swimming. At the same time, I made furniture with my father – an industrial arts teacher – and installed pine crown mouldings and a hand painted border in my bedroom.

But in school I excelled at science, so I completed a BSc in Psychology for my first degree while working part time at Gap to fulfill my fashion and fabric obsessions. I missed my sewing machine. I missed making things with my hands. A basic portable sewing machine for christmas reset my career goals, and my new path to fashion school was sparked. Gala outfits and hand-beaded slip dresses took over my apartment.

*From left to right: Early fashion with my 90’s “athleisure” sewing. My high school semi-formal dress made from a mash-up of pre-made patterns. Portfolio building for my Ryerson School of Fashion interview in 2001 while finishing my psychology degree. My first year garment for Ryerson School of Fashion based on architecture in Toronto.

Pivoting to fashion communications, an internship at Style at Home magazine showed me how to use my fashion skills, sewing and trend research on home decor and styling, and my worlds collided.

 

 

Taking my fashion experience to home decor. One of my first editorials for Style at Home combining fashion and home decor. 2004.

 

Makeovers and DIY projects packaged with an editorial spin got me to the Home Editor of Chatelaine magazine until the recession of ’08/09 caused a hiring freeze in publishing. And once again I’d find myself crafting in my spare time, redesigning my apartment for a before and after and learning to reupholster and refinish my hand-me-down furniture. While I thought a collection of remade furniture would be the key to my entrepreneurial ventures, it was teaching upholstery and custom furniture making and re-upholstery that became the core of my business through my brick and mortar studio: RE:Style Studio.

 

 

One of my first upholstery projects crammed in the basement of my Toronto apartment.

 

 

 

In 2010, to furnish my studio with sewing machines I collected relics from my basement in Newfoundland, refurbished school machines and a few randoms but we always had varying threading techniques, tension issues and bobbins of all kinds. Partnering with Janome and featuring the Janome 1600P machine in our studio has allowed RE:Style clients and staff the experience of working on a solid machine.

Tension issues? Never. Our stitches are always consistent so topstitching has become a big feature in custom work. The all-metal Janome 1600P can handle 4+ layers of faux leather as well as delicate voile for sheers, not to mention the magic that is a velvet foot! We don’t need computerized stitches. A single straight stitch machine with major semi-industrial strength is perfect for upholstery sewing. We’ve added sewing workshops dedicated to home decor projects such as zippered accent cushion covers, piped seat cushions and more on our calendar.

Our new east Toronto location – post epic renovation – with dedicated classroom, fabric lounge and custom studio.

These days it’s the day to day running of a physical location and developing new workshops + designing furniture that keeps me crazy busy. I’m keeping my team small so I can stay close to the making process. I still “self-medicate” with sewing projects and always try to find new ways to make, or remake, substantial DIYS. Rather than jigsaw puzzles or video games, I take apart furniture or research construction to find a way to do it with the transferable skills I have and the tools I know how to use best. I have many days that I look around my studio and feel grateful for the ability to make a living from making.

Working in upholstery can be physically taxing. I enjoy time to sit, sew and recover for at least a day a week when we have sofa cushion covers, bench cushions, accent cushions or any other sewing projects.

Top stitching heavy duty seat cushion covers made from outdoor fabric for a busy family’s kitchen bench.

I’m looking forward to sharing fashion+home tutorials, tips and projects with Janome as we find even more reasons to love working the Janome 1600P.

How has your path to becoming a maker informed your life, career and hobbies? Share your story!

Thank you, Andrea for sharing your Maker story with us. We look forward to more input from you.  In fact…….do stay tuned (subscribe to janomelife and never miss a blog post!). Andrea has a 3 part series coming up this month which I’m sure many of you are going to find very useful and inspiring. Watch for these each Thursday during May.

And do let us know what you think:

Do you do Home Dec sewing?

Do you identify with Andrea’s story?

Do you have hints & tips to offer?

Are you inspired to sew?

Do you “self-medicate” with sewing?! 

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Just look at Janome Canada’s newest machine: The Canada 150 Limited Edition model

Canada 150 – M100 QDC (continued)

When people are wishing to buy a sewing machine, one of the first questions is this: ‘Is this model strong enough to sew in thick fabrics?’ The elegant outer appearance of the Janome machines hides a solid metal chassis. This is what gives our machines the robust interior and strength to sew just about anything! The Canada 150 – M100 QDC interior  looks like  this: 

Metal chassis

This internal strength is very unique and makes Janome what it is: affordable quality. Coated with a beautiful outer shell, here is a machine that is suitable for all types of sewing use.

Machine TK high

150 – M100 QDC

Whether for garment construction, garment repairs & mending, home decoration, quilting, or for crafts, this machine is equipped with the features you will need need to perform these tasks.

The Canada 150 – M100 QDC  offers  100 utility, decorative and satin, stretch + quilting stitches. Here is the chart with all the pictograms of the stitches:

Charter of points

But … there is an apparent difference between a pictogram and a stitch. To visualize these stitches, why not sew them all? …… yes, when you get a sewing machine, you should take the time to study it – what a great way to practice??

Points 1

Utility Section – Button Section – Overlock Section – Applique Section – Satin Section

The feet used to sew these stitches are included with the machine:

  • All-purpose foot ‘A’
  • Satin Foot ‘F’
  • ‘R’ Buttonhole Foot
  • Invisible hem foot ‘G’
  • Overlock ‘C’

Points 2

Decorative Possibilities abound!  

The feet used to sew the stitches on this square are included with the machine:

  • Satin Foot ‘F’
  • Satin foot ‘F2’

All the stitches are adjustable in width and length which adds versatility  – as you can see on both samples. (to be continued… what will Celine show us next?)

Logo 150e

Visit your local authorized Janome dealer to see the Janome Canada 150 – M100 QDC in action:  a demonstration, see samples, and … especially to try it out!

Translated & edited from a post on Vie Janome by Celine Ross.

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Scrappy Spring Table Runner

 

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I have this awesome bin of fabric scraps. I’m *that* person who can’t throw away something that might have a use some day… down the road… even though I don’t know when.

Typically the bin gets pulled out when I’m doing paper piecing. Often I’ll find the perfect pieces at just the right size, even if I have to root around for it first!

But the bin has been overflowing lately and it was time to tame the beast. I dedicated a couple of evenings one week to dutifully going through all the scraps, finding pieces that were big enough, pressing them with my iron, and cutting them out in to perfect little squares. I still didn’t have a plan for them. But I felt they might get better used this way.

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It is finally spring here in Winnipeg (somewhat, we had a bit of a relapse into the cooler temps this week but I’m hopeful warmer weather is literally just around the corner).

So I decided to finally pull out those perfect little pile of scrappy bits and pull together a new table runner for my dining room.

This is one of those projects you can just kinda make up as you go!

I laid everything out and then sat back for a bit and made sure I was happy with the colours. I didn’t put a lot of thought into it, just placed the pieces in random order. But I did want to make sure I didn’t have duplicates or an unwilling pattern sneak up on me.

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Using a quarter inch seam allowance, I pieced together the short rows first.

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I’m always amazed how much you lose in length with that seam allowance. The math makes sense but it’s still always surprises me.

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Then I pieced all the short rows together.

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I decided to do just a white border around all four sides. My border ended up being 6 inches in width.

DSC_3945And of course, I stitched-in-the-ditch (SITD) all of the scrappy pieces using my walking foot on my Janome Skyline S7.

I’m a staunch SITD supporter. I always feel any other design you quilt really pops when you take your time and SITD. It also holds your batting in place which is particularly important when you are quilting larger pieces.

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After playing with all those scrappy bits, I picked a binding fabric that would play off all those colours and frame the entire project. Call me crazy but I love creating my own binding and the whole process of sewing it on.

I’m super excited about this fresh new piece for the dining room.

What spring projects are you currently working on? Scrappy bits — save or toss? And what about stitch-in-the-ditch, yay or nay?

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